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Blog Published By Kenneth Padowitz, P.A.

‘Legislation’

An Armed Society

woman with rifle

Robert Anson Heinlein wrote, “An armed society is a polite society.” He was envisioning a world where people would carry sidearms openly and would be trained to handle them. In March 2018, Florida’s governor signed a bill that would allow selected instructors in a school to be armed. The idea behind the bill is to give those in authority at the school the ability to defend the children and unarmed members of the school staff. This is not the first time that such an idea has been advanced. Who Should Bear Arms The text of the second amendment states, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” From the wording of this amendment it is fairly certain that, like Mr. Heinlein, our founding fathers were thinking of an orderly use of firearms. Since the Colonies were a rough, wild place to live in those days, it would have been dangerous for households not to have some means of defense. No doubt, defense is the thought running through… Read More

Legislation and Child Rearing

children and the law legislation

Perhaps there is no area of legislation, law enforcement and social consideration of greater consideration or more hotly debated than those governing domestic considerations, especially child rearing. Legislation and child rearing have gone hand in hand before but are rarely comfortable partners. The challenge is to define that thin, narrow line between protecting children and allowing adults enough control to effectively teach and discipline youngsters. From such proverbial directives as “Sparing the rod is spoiling the child,” and “A student’s ears are on his back,” to more nurturing approaches that maintain that a child learns best in an environment of acceptance and understanding, just what to do and when to do it have long been questions. The Scope of the Problem At one end of the spectrum we have infant abandonment, young children left in hot cars, and shaken babies; at the other end, we have frustrated, angry young adults who return to their school or church to demonstrate their pique with guns. Babies become adults. Nurturing can make a difference, but it is still unclear just how much. The jury is still out on… Read More

Summer Days, Hot Cars, and the Law

green car on field in the sun

As summer winds down to an end, cars parked along streets and in parking lots can reach alarming temperatures in a big hurry. On a balmy 80-degree Fahrenheit day, temperatures in a vehicle with the windows rolled up can reach an alarming 130 to 178 degrees – definitely warm enough to be life-threatening. A Mother’s Panic A Michigan mom, Lacey Guyton,  was just leaving her grandmother’s home. She strapped her baby into her little car seat, put the diaper bag in the car, and closed the door. Then she heard the doors lock. Her key fob didn’t work. Raina, the little girl, started crying. Lacey tried to smash a window while her grandmother dialed 911. The police dispatcher politely explained that they didn’t break windows or unlock doors, but that she could send a tow truck. Lacey tried calling and pleading with the dispatcher, who said no, they didn’t do that and neither did the fire department. At last, Lacey was able to break the back window on her car and rescue her daughter. A Misadventure That Ended Well There has been a lot of… Read More

Poethics: A Study in Law and Literature

legal writing in the criminal law world

There is the literature of law – the heavy tomes that recount case studies, interpretations of legislation, historical court cases and other legal situations; then there is law in literature, fictional, biographical or non-fiction stories in which legal ramifications loom large in the narration, or which deal directly with points of law. Add to that the rhetoric of the courtroom, building a case, persuading a jury or simply writing a report that will weight evidence one way or the other or stand firmly in the balanced position of presenting the facts, and you have poethics. Poethics Defined Poethics is a recognition of differences between fiction and reality, a consideration of how a lawyer or judge must use words to convey a sense of why a thing shall be adjudged in a certain way, and a correlation of the need to recognize the spirit of an existing legal ruling as well as the concrete structure of the words used to convey the mean of the law, the persuasion by the lawyer, and the decision of the judge. Richard Weisberg, in his book, Poethics and other Strategies… Read More

The Line Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor

felony vs misdemeanor

Crimes have a general classification but can be broken down further into several categories depending on the level of severity. A crime can also be ranked as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the serious consequences of the criminal act. The categorization of a crime will influence how the case is handled, which is why it is important to understand the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor. The rules that define a criminal act will influence the punishment or potential jail time the offender gets. Let’s first look at what constitutes a felony and a misdemeanor to understand the difference between the two. Felonies vs. Misdemeanors Crimes in Florida The basic distinction between a felony and misdemeanor lies on the penalty meted on the offender. The key difference lies in how much jail time and the type of prison the offender gets depending on the severity of the crime. In Florida, just like in many other states across the country, a felony case is considered to be more serious than a misdemeanor case and will usually attract harsher and lengthier conviction consequences. The District… Read More

Is It Time to Axe Bite-Mark Testimony?

bite marks forensic evidence

Evidence in Criminal Proceedings Evidence is the mainstay for timely resolution of criminal proceedings. It provides the agreeable stand on which the court—judge(s) or jury—makes convictions and acquittals. Understandably, evidence admitted for consideration exists in different forms. Traditionally, these forms include testimony of witnesses, video and/or image data, and forensic evidence—DNA or bite-mark testimony. How Bite-Mark Evidence is used During a trial, it is permissible to call on expert witnesses to testify on whether or not the criminal defendant left the teeth marks or lacerations on the victim in question. The expert witnesses called upon are forensic odontologists. What they do in simple terms is state the degree of semblance between the actual teeth of the criminal defendant to the bite-mark teeth pattern. The odontologists basis his or her decision by comparing the teeth pattern on the victim to a mold of the criminal defendant’s teeth. If a match occurs, then the court will adjudge the criminal defendant to be the source of the teeth marks. Disparaging Stats In a fundamental sense, the bite-mark testimony can be beneficial in a court trial. This has fueled… Read More

The Impact of Criminal Charges on your Driving Privilege

driving and the law

Is driving a right or a privilege? In the State of Florida, driving is considered a privilege and not a right. A person’s driving privilege can be suspended, canceled or revoked for a number of reasons that can include (but are not limited to) failing to pay a ticket, failing to pay child support, or failing to attend traffic school. Who monitors my driving privilege? In Florida, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is the agency that monitors a persons driving privilege among other services. The Agency has several offices throughout the State of Florida. Can criminal charges and convictions impact my driving privilege? Yes. Contact with the Criminal Justice system can impact an individuals driving privilege. In some instances, this impact may be temporary or short term. However, there are circumstances in which the impact may be permanent. Can having a criminal conviction affect my privilege to drive? Yes. The legislature has determined that if you are adjudicated guilty of certain crimes, the DHSMV MUST suspended your driver’s license. That means that if a person is adjudicated guilty of a crime… Read More

Can You Break the Law in Virtual Reality?

virtual reality can you commit a crime? | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. | Criminal Attorney

Virtual reality is now becoming mainstream. What was once a popular topic for science fiction, virtual reality is now becoming – for lack of a better word, a reality. The Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Microsoft HoloLens, Jaunt, One Plus, Sony PlayStation VR, and Google Cardboard are just a few of the popular VR headsets that are near release or currently available on the market. Eagle Flight allows you to fly over Paris in a virtual world. If that’s not your style, you can walk a tightrope between skyscrapers with The Walk. Still not your thing? – become a quarterback for your favorite football team with VR Sports Challenge. These are just a few things you can now do with a virtual reality headset. Consumers often report an extremely realistic experience thanks to the ever-increasing high resolution displays that are released each year. Some players of The Walk recall the difficulty one may face when it comes to taking that first step on the tight rope when you feel as if you are walking hundreds of feet in the air (despite them knowing that it is… Read More

Date Rape: What It Is, the Law and the Consequences

date rape is illegal | Kenneth Padowitz | Lawyer

Date Rape The difference between ‘date rape’ and standard ‘rape’ in the legal context is restricted to the legal meaning of the terms. Thus, they carry the same serious consequences. ‘Date rape’ is a specific form of rape where the victim knows the rapist, as opposed to the average idea that the perpetrator is a stranger to the victim. History The legal definition of rape has evolved over the years. According to common law, rape refers to the crime of having sexual intercourse without the consent of one of the participants. In time past, a required element of the definition of rape was physical force or threats of force. Currently, many states have eliminated this condition as a mandatory element of rape. The improved definition stipulates that rape occur when the perpetrator goes ahead to engage in sexual intercourse after the victim: Says “no” Refuses to give consent Is unable to consent due to physical or mental constraints that results from either being Physically disabled; or Under the influence of alcohol or drugs However, under common law, if the victim was the spouse of the… Read More

Florida “Murderabilia” and “Son of Sam” Laws

proceeds from crime son of sam law | Kenneth Padowitz, P.A. | South Florida criminal Lawyer

It is the times really, crime fascinates our society, and the morbid curiosity for all things crime can be nauseating at extreme levels. The biggest culprits for the advance of this crime fascination are the media and cinema. Heinous crimes get plenty of media attention, prime networks fall over each other to get exclusives from daunting criminals, and American cinema makes a killing from crime-themed movies. However, beyond the crime-craze in the media and cinema, interest gets acute to the extent of people going to great lengths to collect criminal paraphernalia sold by imprisoned criminals. The fancy name for these criminal paraphernalia is “murderabilia.” The Term “Murderabilia” In general, “murderabilia” is a blanket term to describe artifacts (tools or substances) used or involved in a crime. However, the term may also refer to creative pieces, for example, paintings, books, or memoirs; produced by the criminal. The major reason behind collecting the creative items by the criminal is to get an enlightened take on the personality and mind pattern of the criminal, or to put it more plainly to understand the “twisted mind” of the criminal.… Read More